Westport, Fur Seals, Greymouth and Karamea

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Hi All,

As promised, Westport to be continued... well here it is!

Westport is a quiet little town, although it is much bigger than Baralaba. Funny was that I hadn't realised Westport is surrounded by Mountains and the Sea... until the rain stopped. And luckily the sun has been shining a bit, so I have actually been able to have a good look around.

Reunited with Peter again!!!

When Peter finally came to New Zealand, we first stayed in a motel for a week. It was so good (ok... FANTASTIC) to see him again!! I actually lost a few kilos just because of being without him. Never knew being in love could be such a good diet, lol! :L:

We’ve been eating out almost every night, as there wasn’t a restaurant or cooking facilities at the motel. Great way to get to know the town and the people a bit. And to catch up with Peter’s colleagues (and Bob-ski, who was the project manager of Baralaba mine. He’s here as well :)).

Home sweet home….

After a week Peter had to go back to New South Wales in Australia to get his stuff relocated. But two days before that his job gave us a house to live in. It’s a great house and probably 6 times the size of what I lived in, in Haarlem (NL). So 6 times as much work to keep it clean, lol. Even though it is still pretty empty, it is actually nice to have an address and a house to live in. It’s been a while that I wasn’t living out of my Backpack. I have actually room to put things now, it’s great!!

Westport, Cape Foulwind and Fur Seals!!

I have been walking in and around town a lot, just to get an idea about what is around and to give you all an idea about what is here. They’ve got a beautiful old cemetery here, the Buller River is nice, some mountains still have snow on the top (as of course it’s spring now, so it’s over with the winter), and the main street in town has plenty of little shops, café’s and bars. It’s quite nice actually.

A few kilometres out of town is Cape Foulwind. Here lives a Fur Seal Colony, so we went to have a look at them with two other colleagues of Peter, Smithy and Rod. The environment is beautiful and the seals look really cute. Even though my new camera is not always working to well: at least the zoom works alright, so there are some really nice Fur Seals online the picture site. And pictures of a bird called 'Weka's" - Or as I name them now: "Wicked Weka's" ;)!

Working a bit…

I have also been working for the Stockton Alliance. Downer EDI Mining (company Peter works for) managed to get the contract for the Solid Energy Stockton mine, just up the hill from Westport. Those two companies together will form the Stockton Alliance. The first weeks here they had to interview 400-500 people who wanted a job with them. All these people had to do a Risk Management Survey as part of the interview process and I have been helping them out with those surveys and the data entry. Pretty long days, but it was nice to do it!  

Also worked in a local pub for a couple of nights, which is good to get to know more people. And since everyone in town had my CV, the owners of Beaconstone Eco Lodge (Backpackers) asked me to redesign their website. So that's what I have been doing this week as well (iI'm still working on it, but the new site is live already on www.beaconstone.co.nz

Sightseeing!

Last weekend Peter and I have been sightseeing a bit. On Saturday we have been to Karamea, which is an hour or two north of Westport. The West Coast of New Zealand is really beautiful. Just wild rugged mountains on one side and stunning views over the ocean on the other side. And in the ocean there are almost always rocks sticking out. This really makes it looks amazing, stunning, though wild and untouched.

White baiting

The white baiting season has begun here so there are plenty of people spending full days at the rivers to catch this whitebait (a tiny little fish that you can hardly see). Catching and eating whitebait is part of life on the West Coast. Many ‘baiters’, as they are called, have caravans or baches (shacks) and take up residence on river banks for the season. Whitebait are the babies of up to six varieties of New Zealand native fish. They are really tiny and you can hardly see them. Therefore they are hard to catch and expensive to buy. They really are tiny and you eat them the way they are. So that is including the eyes (which you don’t taste at all… the whole fish gets cooked in egg and you mainly taste the egg I reckon). Anyway, I took a few pictures of people white baiting in Karamea. It is a big thing everywhere on the West Coast, so also Westport is big for white baiting.

We have had a running contest on the beach (which we didn’t finish as we’re both not sporty enough to run that far, lol). There were also jelly-fish and nice shelves at the beach. Was beautiful! The water was pretty cold still (of course) so no swim just yet.

Two times Greymouth in one day

On Sunday we’ve headed towards Greymouth, as we needed to do some shopping (cheap though good pillows were required, lol). Beautiful coastal road, very close to the edge of cliffs but with the best views!

Did our shopping, had lunch at the Speights Brewery Hotel and headed back towards Punakaiki, to have a look at the blowholes and the pancake rocks. Again: it’s amazing how much beauty there is here! Some rocks looked like animals and people actually. The pancake rocks all look like a stack of pancakes (what’s in a name?). Very beautiful.

When we headed to the nearby pub to have a beer before we headed back to Westport I realised I left my wallet in Greymouth. :s
So we had that beer anyway, and headed back south. Positive thing about it: yay, we get to see all that scenery again!! Negative thing about it: I still don’t handle all those turns (breaking, accelerating) very well, so felt carsick a little bit longer :a ;).

Lucky for me, the wallet was still there, including the money and cards inside (it’s a bit of a hassle to get new Dutch bank cards, so I was glad I got everything back).

What’s on for the near future?

This week I have been working and I’ve been busy organising all documents I need to apply for a work permit for another year, so let’s hope all will work out well here. So far, I can’t complain at all!!!

Catch ya’s all later, keep me posted as I’m only further away from the living Dutchies now (although there seem to be plenty of Dutch people living here as well). Next time I update, I hope I will have plenty to tell about all the people that come and stay in Westport. Like Peters parents, Jeen, Petra and Rianda (who are in Australia now), and of course Brendon (from Baralaba) who is coming to work here as well. Nice prospects for the near future I reckon!

Bye for now and enjoy the pictures!! 

Cheers, Hélène (or Dutchie) :W

Comments 4

Maudje 10-09-2009 03:20

meissie!! geweldig, wat heb je het fantastisch, ik zie je stralen! Jullie zien er heel gelukkig uit samen!! Ik kan niet wachten om je een keer op te komen zoeken!! heel veel succes met alles en we keep in touch! Love you

Mam 10-09-2009 06:33

Lieve schat!
Wat een mooi kind ben je toch! En heel fijn te zien dat jullie het zo goed naar de zin hebben samen, mooi setje!!!

Love you both!

Peter 10-09-2009 10:12

Ik hou van de NZ reisverslag tot nu toe. Blij dat je een goede tijd in NZ deze tijd hebben. Ook al krijg je wagenziek met kronkelende wegen. Er zijn manieren om de ziekte te stoppen door het tellen van windmolens of hoeken kan helpen. 130 van hen. Kan het bladerdeeg uit je al die tellen in het Nederlands.

Het bier, het eten en de mensen zijn aardig.

Looking forward to Petra, Rianda en JEEN, yay yay yay komen. Morgen Brendon arriveert. Biggetje voelt de kou.
Love u PJ

Peter 10-09-2009 10:14

Good Dutch translation.

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